Sunday, February 27, 2011

'TeamEtsyAustin Preps for SXSW 2' by wildmoondesign

another sneak peak at some of the work of the Etsy Austin street team

Cute Owl on Green - Scrabble...

Squares of Awesome Pacifier ...

Sushi Soap

Small Soap Dish Spoon Rest C...

Talpa Church - Archival Prin...

Squid Linens - chartreuse ye...

Cupcake necklace with gold g...

A Visit to the Doctor- Upcyc...

Slashed Pink T Shirt size 4-...

Organic Cotton Napkins - Pin...

Compact Mirror

Medium Cosmetic Bag - Psyche...

Midnight Garden Necklace

Custom 1" Twill Label (...

Emoticon Mini Pillow

Houndstooth Raccoon framed f...

Treasury tool is sponsored by A/B image testing.

'TeamEtsyAustin Preps for SXSW' by wildmoondesign

a mini peep show of some of the great items the Austin team members will be displaying at our WOW event!

Balmorhea Blue Sky

Large Clutch/ Cross Body- Na...

Black Swan Tiara - Inspired ...

hollow book flask safe '...

Leather cuff. Super Sexy Red...

Chutes and Ladders Necklace

Aqua - Swarovski Crystal Fea...

Vintage Lois Lane Recycled C...

Teddy Bear Aviator Hat in Ce...

Ophelia Owl--Original Mixed ...

Crocheted Spring Time Headba...

Embroidered Wall Art - I Lov...

Art Greeting Cards: The Comp...

Foxy Earrings - Copper Shape...

Moonlight swim freshwater pe...

Mr. Rondo Friedman, the One-...

Treasury tool is sponsored by A/B image testing.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pommes Frites Guide to the East Side

While not an East-Sider myself, I do spend quite a bit off time on the "other side" of the interstate. The East Side will already be teeming with SXSW events, but here are a few options for hanging out in between shows and events.

When entering the East Side, check out the light and sculpture installation under I-35. Rows of lit-up arches underneath the interstate between 6th and 8th streets are meant to represent stitches - symbolizing a re-unification of East and West sides. It also brings light to what can often be a sketchy parking lot.

As you've probably noticed by now, Austin is a sea of trailer eateries. Not to be missed is on E. 6th is East Side Drive-In, which includes favorites such as the Vegan Yacht, The Local Yolk, and the converted double decker, #19 Bus - which serves up delish cheese steaks.

Rio Rita on 6th and Attayac is famous for their Bloody Mary's, but you can also get a quick coffee there during the day. One block down (and up - 7th and Onion) is Takoba, a restaurant that infuses interior Mexican food with a swank modern decor. Takoba boasts spacious outdoor seating, including a backyard "adult sand box" - and is my pick for grabbing a delicious frozen margarita (Strawberry) and some tacos (Al Pastor).

If you're looking for a place to grab a drink and some quick food, head down to the street The Liberty (1618 E 6th), with its famous backyard trailer East Side Kings. Those beet fries are amazing. Hey, if it's good enough for Anthony Bourdain, right?

Image courtesy of Domy Books/Flickr

Domy Books, located at Cesar Chavez and San Marcos, is part beautifully curated specialty book shop, part gallery space - a great place to get your art fix. Stitcher extraordinaire Jenny Hart even had a show there last year.

Treasure City Thrift just re-opened in new digs at 2142 E. 7th St - and it's considered by many to be one of the best thrift stores in town.

My personal favorite restaurant on the east side, Justine's, is a quaint French brasserie located in an old house on 5th and Springdale. Justine's is always packed, and for good reason. You just can't beat the atmosphere here. I usually get the Steak Frites, and if my name is any indicator, I fancy myself a bit of a pommes frites connoisseur - Justine's will not disappoint. If you're looking to impress a date you picked up at one of those day shows, this is the place - although be prepared to drop a pretty penny. It's impossible to resist the lure of relaxing with a bottle of wine.

You've also got to check out the Wondercraft at Starving Art Studios, 2324 E. Cesar Chavez. Tons of Etsy Austin artists are represented in this mobile trailer boutique/craft space.

For you beer fanatics, Live Oak Brewing Company offers weekly brewery tours and tasting opportunities at their space on E. 5th.

Lastly, be sure to stop by El Chilito (Manor & Chicon) - because you can't leave Austin without eating some breakfast tacos - and taking a mustache ride while you're at it. The giant mustache and glasses are part of the Pay Phone Revival Project, where artists are beautifying and re-imagining old pay phones around town.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

BabyBolt's Guide to South Austin

Living in South Austin for nearly ten years, we've seen a lot of change - the biggest being where we go since having a kid. Parents of young children, this guide is for you!

We used to drive way up north to the original Phil's Ice House/Amy's Ice Cream. Thankfully South Austin now has its very own location. While Phil's has amazing burgers (great veggie burgers, too!), sweet potato fries, and the best homemade buns around, the real attraction is the playground. Phil's colorful playground is fenced in, allowing parents to relax with a draft beer while their kids tear it up and make room for a post-burger dessert from Amy's. Across the street, you'll find kids' boutique GaGa. GaGa features wonderful natural parenting toys and gear from brands you trust, as well as lots of offerings from Austin designers.

Open 24 hours, Kerbey Lane Cafe is a great, kid-friendly diner. Plus, kid's eat free every Tuesday! They serve plenty of local produce and have an extensive selection of vegan/veggie options. They also cater well to those with food sensitivities. Our five-year-old loves the French Toast; we love the Migas!

Anna's Toy Depot is a great place to swing by after a brunch at Kerbey Lane. It's right next door and is filled with the best selection of used toys in town. Your kids will have fun digging through bins of PlayMobil, Lego, and random action figures and you'll get nostalgic when you come across that exact same PlaySkool farm house or record player you had when you were small!

Looking for totally low key, all Vegetarian/Vegan fare? Check out Mr. Natural. What it lacks in ambiance,it more than makes up for in tasty foods your body will thank you for.

While the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar is known for its fun pre-show entertainment, food service, beer, film fests and more, it's also known and loved for its strict throw-you-out-on-your-butt-for-talking-during-the-movie policy. However, every Tuesday, all films that begin prior to 2 pm are baby friendly. What does this mean? It means you bring your baby, you eat,
they sleep, you get a nice break, and if they cry, no one is going to make you feel bad about it. This screening is for you, not the grumpy, childless guy in the back who can come whenever he wants. See whatever you want; it's glorious!

100% vegetarian Bouldin Creek Coffee House recently moved from an old house to a sleek, new building a block away. While the new location lacks a lot of the charm of the original, it's decidedly more child-friendly. We love the soy lattes, lemonade, eggs, and breakfast tacos.

Sugar Mama's Bakeshop has the best cupcakes in town, hands down. Do yourself a favor and go eat one. "Jack's Lemon" is divine.

Fabric and craft lovers, meet your new favorite place: Stitch Lab! Situated on S. 1st, just south of Barton Springs Rd., in a sweet converted house, sits the best local resource for sewers. Everyday something new is happening at the lab; from classes, to sales, to open troubleshooting sewing help. The shelves are teeming with gorgeous fabrics, expertly selected by the uber-talented gals of Stitch Lab. Bringing your kid while you shop? No problem; they've got you covered with coloring books and puzzles to keep the kiddo busy while you swoon over textiles.

If it's a nice day or evening, you'll definitely want to pull into the South Austin Trailer Park and Eatery - home to the trailers of Torchy's Tacos, Man Bites Dog, and Holy Cacao. You'll also find plenty of outdoor seating and a rad gameroom. Once it gets dark, the fire pit gets lit and the twinkly lights go on. Rainy day? Try the brick-and-mortar Torchy's Taco's a few miles further south on S. 1st. So good. Try the fried avocado - yum!

Further south, past the main strip of South Congress Ave., there are a few family-friendly spots worth checking out.

Austin is full of Public Parks and Playgrounds. Our personal favorite? Little Stacy Playground, it's shaded, small and just right for the under 7 crowd. It's just a bit east of South Congress, at 1400 Alameda Dr. For the killer summers, there's also a wading pool.

Ruta Maya is an Austin institution. A community-focused coffeehouse with locally-roasted, ethically farmed beans, they also host live music, workshops, and classes. Most importantly, they host the weekly Ruta Maya Kids Show every Sunday at 10:30 AM. Bring the kiddos for a rotating lineup of music, puppet shows, circus acts, and usually a little weirdness. While they watch and play, you can caffeinate.


Monday, February 21, 2011

EtsyAustin Guide to Austin

Austin is about as cool as cities come, and not only Austinites will tell you so. South by Southwest has become a spring-time coolfest unlike any other, showcasing music, film, and interactive artists and innovators from around the world. This year, Etsy will be participating in the Interactive portion, showcasing how they've made online selling and shopping so nice. We know we like 'em!

Over the next couple of weeks, EtsyAustin team members will be featuring favorite spots all over town for the benefit of our crafty friends. Tune in to find out what to do, where to eat, and where to get your craft on. Look out for extra posts about our upcoming activities, too!

Here's a teeny sampling in the heart of the city...
Parts & Labour (all Texan, all handmade)
Stitch Lab (a crafty must-do)
Zilker Park (complete with train rides)

Waterloo Records (for musical inspiration)
Book People (2 floors of beautiful, beautiful books)
Whole Foods (flagship store and close to most events)
Peter Pan Mini Golf (this gentleman is just one of the many new friends you'll make)

The Blanton Museum of Art (
Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds (you just have to see for yourself)
The Cathedral of Junk (a bit outside the city center, but worth the adventure)

Helpful resources...
The Chronicle (the experts on everything SXSW)
KUT 90.5 (great radio station for finding out what's going on)
Cap Metro (buses are an event-goers best friend)

Watch for more EtsyAustin member posts with specifics about what we love about Austin!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

DIY Fashion at SXSW

We are super excited to be participating in a fantastic weekend-long event hosted by Etsy on the first weekend of SXSW this March. Our team will be participating in a number of cool happenings during one of the biggest media and music events of the world. More on that later...

For now, I want to tell you about a wonderful DIY fashion show, sponsored by BurdaStyle and hosted at the Etsy venue on the Sunday night of the first weekend of SXSW. This show will feature many talented fashion and accessory designers from Austin and elsewhere around the country.

We are VERY proud that our very own Anne Marie Beard will be featured in this show!!! Her handbags and accessories are super stylish, and I can't wait to see her items up on the runway!

Read more about it on the BurdaStyle Blog:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mother of American Valentines

Curious about how Valentines day came about? There are a few stories about saints called Valentine that were martyred, but no one really knows for sure which one is the Valentine. They may all be. However we do know for sure who Esther Allen Howland was and how she contributed to the holiday and American crafts. Her father owned a successful stationary shop, and a business associate of his sent her a lace valentine from England when she was 19, in 1847. Being sure she could make one better she talked her father into ordering the necessary supplies. She made up a few samples for her brother to take with him on his sales route. She had hoped to get 200.00 worth of orders, but he came back with 5,000.00. Getting started right away she hired girls to help make them and soon came up with an assembly line process, long before Mr. Ford. She ran her business on her own until 1881 when she sold it to help take care of her father. So this year make a Valentine for your loved ones worthy of the memory of Ms. Howland. A crafter, entrepreneur, and the "Mother of American Valentines".

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mailing List

If you look to the left you will see a new feature on the blog that will allow you to sign up for our mailing list. We hope to send out a quarterly news letter that will keep you up to date on what the team is up to as well as some crafty ideas that you can do at home. We are all so excited to be a part of the handmade community that Austin has embraced so warmly, and we want to help it grow. Your email address will never be sold or shared with any other group and you will just get a few messages from us each year. Thank you does not cover how much we appreciate your support and look forward to what this next year will bring.